Majorca Mastiff

Other names: Presa Mallorquin, Majorca Bulldog, Majorca Mastiff

Majorca Mastiff
Majorca Mastiff

The Ca De Bou, or the Majorcan Mastiff, is a stocky, extremely powerful breed that was developed near the Iberian Peninsula. Like all mastiffs, the Ca De Bou has large, muscular shoulders and a huge head. Unsurprisingly, these imposing looking animals were used as guard dogs in coastal settlements to ward off pirates and would be robbers. Despite their appearance, these dogs become very docile and quiet when not on duty. And as long as they receive the right training and socialisation, they make excellent family pets.

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Key facts about the Majorca Mastiff

  • Life expectancy : Between 10 and 12 years
  • Temperament : Calm
  • Size : Medium
  • Type of coat : Short

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs

Section

Section 1 : Pinscher and Schnauzer type

Physical characteristics of the Majorca Mastiff

Adult size

Female dog Between 20 and 22 in
Male dog Between 22 and 23 in

Weight

Female dog Between 66 and 75 lb
Male dog Between 77 and 84 lb

Coat colour

Brindle. Fawn. Black. Tan. Black.

Type of coat

Short. Flat. Rough.

Eye colour

Dark.

Description

The Majorca Mastiff is a medium-sized dog with a powerful grip. He has an elongated, muscular frame, with short but powerful legs. He has a thick neck and very large head with a stubby muzzle and small ears. The tail is fat at the base and narrows towards the tip, ending in a point. There’s a notable difference between the sexes; the males tend to be much larger.

Temperament

Affectionate

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The Ca De Bou is too big to be lap-dog and too laid-back to be overly affectionate. That being said, he still likes a few strokes and cuddles.

Playful

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The puppies are very playful, and willingly participate in play sessions when invited.

Calm

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He might not look it, but this dog is surprisingly calm. He exudes a quiet confidence. This guy doesn’t need to show off. He knows he’s tough, and he’s got nothing to prove to anyone.

Intelligent

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The Ca De Bou has a reasonable level of intelligence. He responds well to basic obedience training but may struggle with advanced or overly complicated commands. 

Hunter

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The Ca De Bou is a watchdog and a guard dog. Although he’s extremely powerful, he’s not athletic enough to be a successful hunting breed.  

Fearful / wary of strangers

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He is very suspicious of strangers, and needs time to analyze the level of danger in a situation.

Independent

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He can demonstrate individualism and discretion without constantly demanding the attention of his masters.

Behaviour of the Majorca Mastiff

Tolerates solitude

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The Ca de Bou was developed as a guard dog and would often work through the night as his owners got some rest. He deals with solitude much better than most other breeds. 

Easy to train / obedience

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As long as you stick to the basics, this dog is fairly easy to train. Early socialisation is vital for big powerful dogs like the Ca de Bou. 

Barking

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This natural watchdog only barks when he needs to. When not on guard duty, he barely makes any noise.

Tendency to run away

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The Ca De Bou is a relaxed, docile animal that should never run away. 

Destructive

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As long as he’s getting enough exercise and companionship, this dog will not become destructive.

Greedy / Gluttony

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Big dogs have big appetites, but that doesn’t mean they’re greedy or gluttenous. Food can be a great tool to perfect his education, however.

Guard dog

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The Ca de Bou is the archetypal watchdog. It's what they were bred for and they've been doing it for hundreds of years. 

First dog

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Given his size and strength, this dog requires a more experienced handler with a firm understanding of the basic principles of obedience training. 

Lifestyle

Majorca Mastiff in a flat

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He can live in the city as well as in the countryside. As long as he has sufficient exercise in a day, he will know how to be calm in an apartment.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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He is very versatile, and can adapt to either a sporty or sofa lifestyle. He can follow his master on hikes, as well as staying quietly at home. However, he will not be keen to participate in very intense physical activities.

Travelling / easy to transport

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He’s far too big to travel on a plane. You will also struggle to get him onto trains. Any long car journeys need to be planned out in advance. Break up the journey so your dog can stretch its legs and do its “business.” A well-educated and socialized dog can be a good companion.

Compatibility

Majorca Mastiff and cats

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These big dogs can get on well with cats and other household pets, if they grow up alongside them.

Majorca Mastiff and dogs

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The Ca de Bou can be quite territorial, so it's best to introduce him to other dogs from an early age to prevent him getting into scraps in later life.

Majorca Mastiff and children

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The Ca de Bou is a big softy and becomes especially gentle and loving around children. However, because of his size, he shouldn’t be left unsupervised around toddlers. 

Majorca Mastiff and the elderly

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Some elderly people may struggle to handle this large, powerful dog. 

Price

We do not have enough data to set an average price. Looking after a dog of this size typically costs between £80 to £160 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.

Grooming

The Ca de Bou requires minimal grooming. A quick brush once every few weeks is all he really needs.

Shedding

Minimal shedding.

Nutrition of the Majorca Mastiff

4-5 cups of high-quality dog food split over two or three meals. A diet rich in fiber and protein is recommended.

Health of the Majorca Mastiff

Life expectancy

This is a well-bred and very healthy working dog with an average life expectancy of 11 years.

Strong / robust

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This breed is as sturdy and as tough as a dog can get. If well-looked after and not overstrained as puppies, they grow up to be strong, well-built, and very self-assured. 

Withstand heat

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A shelter must be made available in the garden to protect against hot weather.

Withstand cold

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Big dogs rarely struggle with maintaining their body temperature during the colder months of the year. 

Tendency to put on weight

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The Ca de Bou isn’t the most active breed. Overfeeding him by even the smallest can lead to unwanted weight gain. 

Common illnesses

Good to know

These dogs are very, very strong. Owners need to treat them with a firm but fair hand. Socialise as soon as possible. A poorly trained Mastiff can be extremely difficult to handle. Don’t let these powerful dogs get the better of you. They’re naturally obedient but they will also take advantage of passive owners. 

Origins and history

Unfortunately, the earliest records of these dogs show that they were used in the Mediterranean as fighting dogs and bear baiters. Luckily, as these barbaric practices began to decline, the Ca de Bou found a new lease of life as a guard dog and a watchdog. 

In the eighteenth century, when Mallorca became an English colony after the Treaty of Utrecht, the English began to cross their guard and combat dogs with the Great Iberian Mastiff, obtaining the Ca de Bou (also called the Perro in his country). In the Spanish Book of Origins of 1923, we already see the existence of this breed. The first subject was inscribed in 1928 and, in 1929, a copy of this dog won the Barcelona exhibition. 

It was first registered by the FCI in 1964. The breed experienced a dip in numbers during the following decades but had a welcome resurgence in the late 1980s, becoming especially popular in Russian and Eastern Europe. The first Ca de Bous were introduced to the UK around 2001. 

Names

Rocky, Brutus, Magda, Zena

Find out more dog name ideas here

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